Our Favorite Blushes of 2020 (So Far!) — And Which Type Is Best for You

July 22, 2020
Sarah Ferguson
By: Sarah Ferguson | Makeup.com by L'Oréal

If you ask us, blush is the unsung hero of a good makeup look. It can perfectly tie together an eye and lip look, warm up your skin tone and define and lift even the most non-existent of cheekbones. And let’s not forget that it’s the best way to add a healthy flush of color to your face for a glowing, youthful appearance.

When choosing the right formula, it’s not just the blush color that matters; texture can affect the way it looks on skin as well. Here, makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar helps us break down the different types of blush and how to choose the perfect option.

Cream Blush 

These smooth and velvety formulas give skin a fresh, dewy-looking flush. While cream formulas tend to go on sheer, you can easily build them up for more opacity. They’re great for all skin types, but especially dry. “You get both color and a little moisture from the product,” says Almodovar.

How to apply cream blush: “I love to use cream blushes with my fingers,” says Almodovar. He uses his thumbs because it has the largest surface area of your fingers. Work a small dot of cream blush into the apples of your cheeks in a circular motion.  

Our favorite cream blushes:

Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush is a lightweight, buildable formula with a silky, dewy finish.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush can look barely-there or bold, depending on how much you apply. We like to apply the formula on our eyes and lips as well for a monochromatic, sun-kissed look. 
Kjaer Weis Cream Blush and Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush

Powder Blush 

Powder is the most common form of blush, says Almodovar. It usually comes pressed and in a compact, but some mineral brands package it loosely. Depending on the formula you choose, powder blush can either deliver an intense pop of color or go on like a sheer flush.

How to apply powder blush: Almodovar suggests using a fluffy brush. Smile to find the apples of your cheeks. Swirl the powder on the center of the cheeks and then sweep the color up your cheekbone toward your hairline.

Our favorites powder blushes:

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush is perfect for dry or mature skin because it contains nourishing camellia oil and won’t cake on skin. The shades are designed to give skin a luminous, healthy appearance. 

Lancôme Blush Subtil is an oil-free and oil-absorbing formula with long-lasting color payoff. We love that the compact comes with a small blush brush for a flawless application every time. 
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush and Lancôme Blush Subtil

Mousse Blush

Mousse blush has a whipped, fluffy consistency, much like the filling of a decadent dessert. Its lightweight texture is what makes the blush really easy to blend into skin, so it looks seamless. Like cream blush, mousse starts off pretty sheer, but you can keep layering it to build up to a more intense cheek look.

Mousse works best on normal and dry skin types. Unfortunately, because of the lightweight texture, the color can fade quickly on oily skin. 

How to apply mousse blush: Fingertips are all you need for this one. Pat it on the apples of your cheeks and blend up toward your temples.

Our favorite mousse blushes:

YSL Beauty Baby Doll Kiss Blush may look like just a lip gloss, but the sponge-tip applicator is great for dabbing a hint of rosy color onto your cheeks. The air-whipped mousse leaves behind a sweep of color that highlights your cheekbones.

Inc.redible For The First Time Bounce Blush melts onto skin for easy application and a subtle, lit-from-within glow. 
Inc.redible For The First Time Bounce Blush and YSL Beauty Baby Doll Kiss Blush

Gel Blush

Gel blushes can come in solid form (like a stick) or in a more liquid consistency. In both cases, the formulas offer a sheer wash of color.

“Gel blushes are the sheerest of all blush products,” says Almodovar. They allow your natural skin tone to show through underneath.

How to apply gel blush: Almodovar likes to apply gel blush with a synthetic bristle blush brush (because it won’t absorb the gel formula like real hair bristles) or fingertips. Tap the formula onto the apples of your cheeks for a naturally flushed look. To pump up the intensity, layer your gel under a powder blush.

Our favorite gel blushes:

NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Jelly Cheek Color is infused with hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil to soothe and hydrate. The gel formula feels refreshing and gives skin a no-makeup makeup look.

Pixi Beauty Sheer Cheek Gel is a sheer, translucent formula that gives you natural-looking color. It’s available in three light, medium and dark shades, and it hydrates your complexion while you wear it.
Pixi Beauty Sheer Cheek Gel and NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Jelly Cheek Color

Blush Stain

A stain has the most staying power of all blush formulas. It’s usually a highly-pigmented liquid, but it can also come in stick form.

While stains may seem intense, they’re typically sheer. Once they set, they stay put all day long. They work for all skin types, but because of their longevity, stains are especially good for oily skin.

How to apply blush stains: Our advice is to work quickly. You only have a few seconds of play time before the stain blush dries. Almodovar says fingers are the best tools for stain formulas because they help warm up the product, making it easier to blend. You can place a stain wherever you would normally apply your blush, but Almodovar usually puts it on just the apples of the cheeks. A word to the wise: a little bit goes a long way. A small dab should be enough for one cheek.

Our favorite blush stains: 

IT Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Stain Anti-Aging Powder Blush Stain is a powder-stain formula that delivers a silky feel that both hydrates and nourishes the skin during wear.  

Dehiya Beauty Lip + Cheek Tint offers a gorgeous, natural flush and contains antioxidant-rich ingredients to help fight environmental damage during wear. 
Dehiya Beauty Lip + Cheek Tint and IT Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Stain Anti-Aging Powder Blush Stain
Design: Hannah Packer

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